A retired Army major who rowed the Solent in a home-made tin boat for charity said the trip “couldn’t have been better”.
Michael Stanley, known as ‘Major Mick’, set out across the Solent in the ‘Tintanic’ on Saturday, making his way from Hurst Castle in Lymington to the Isle of Wight.
The 81-year-old, who lives in Chichester, has raised more than £8,000 so far this year and rowed 44 miles out of a planned 100 for Children on the Edge, a charity helping Ukrainian refugees cross the border into Moldova and Romania.
“Ukrainians need all the help they can get,” Stanley told the PA news agency.
“And I just felt like if I could put up a few pounds for them it’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s more of a thing than nothing.”
Dressed in his famous Union Jack suit, Mr. Stanley piloted the Tintanic II across the water on a short voyage that lasted about an hour.
“Beautiful sunshine and scenery and the sea was very calm,” he said.
“It could not be better.”
Mr Stanley, who served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, said his sailing mission – which included voyages across the Beaulieu River in the New Forest and the Serpentine in Hyde Park – was about “putting a smile on people’s faces”. .
“People have been very generous and kind,” he said.
“And it’s not just about money, it’s about putting a smile on people’s faces.
“Out of respect for Her Majesty’s Jubilee year, I am wearing a Union Jack suit this year.
“It’s a lot of fun, I enjoy it.”
He made the Tintanic out of two sheets of corrugated iron in March 2020, the year he started rowing.
“[It’s]two sheets of corrugated iron that I bought and then bits and pieces that I had around the house or in the yard to do the rest,” he explained.
“It’s very sturdy – it’s well built.”
Mr. Stanley is not yet sure where he will be rowing next but is “very happy” to support Children on the Edge and decorate his boat with many Ukrainian flags.
“It’s a local Chichester charity run by young and enthusiastic staff and they are really helpful,” he said
To learn more about Mr. Stanley and his fundraiser, go to: www.justgiving.com/tintanicforukraine
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20368349.chichester-army-vet-sails-tin-boat-ukraine-fundraiser/?ref=rss Chichester Army veterinarian sails in a tin boat for a fundraiser in Ukraine